May 25, 2018 / 8:13 AM / 25 days ago

Dutch minister: MH17 investigation points to Russian involvement

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Interim findings released this week by prosecutors investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 point to Russian involvement, the Dutch foreign minister said on Friday.

A damaged missile is displayed during a news conference in Bunnik, Netherlands, by members of the Joint Investigation Team, comprising of authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, as they present interim results in the ongoing investigation of the 2014 MH17 crash that killed 298 people over eastern Ukraine. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The findings “point to direct involvement of Russia,” Stef Blok said on his way into a crisis meeting of the Dutch Cabinet over the matter. His words are the strongest to date by a Dutch politician linking Russia to the incident.

MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard. Russia has denied any involvement.

Investigators on Thursday said the missile that shot down the plane was fired from a missile launcher in Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, but stopped short of saying who actually fired the fatal shot.

Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Larry King

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